Tuesday, December 29

Aesthetic Ecstasy

Henry before the throne
of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. Oh, how he loved it! He loved the whole museum (the Smithsonian National Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery) actually, dashing around in high spirits, laughing with excited glee. If the museum director had been there I would think it would have warmed the very cockles of his heart to see such whole-hearted (whole-bodied?) aesthetic enjoyment. Kudos to the Smithsonian museum guards, who seemed to "get" the situation at a glance and were very cool about Henry's unusual museum behavior. Despite some parental anxiety (will he body slam the Edward Hopper in a transport of joy?) watching his delight made me see the work in a new way, myself.

No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.

-- Thomas Mann

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